I'll go ahead and get it out of the way -- over all, I'm very happy with this thing. After going through 4 different 40 and 43" 4K TVs under $1000 trying to find a good PC monitor and having to give up on each for a different reason (firmware issues, blurring, input lag, bad black levels, etc) I think I've finally found something I can live with for many years to come that doesn't feel in any way like a step down from my previous Planar PX2611w, which is going to be relegated to secondary display duty once I get a new stand so it can be mounted in portrait next to this thing. Are there things I wish were better? Sure. I'll go over those in detail at some point, and if people care enough I'll add pictures as well. For now, I'll just walk through my impressions and the pros and cons of this particular display as I see them. Also, yes. I know this is long. There's a lot to say. Dell UltraSharp U3415W Curved 34" IPS 21:9 3440 x 1440 monitor -- Impressions Packaging, Contents, and Assembly: The Dell U3415W is insanely well packed. I have joked with friends that the box it comes in could double as a coffin for toddlers -- if you haven't picked it up after reading stuff I've posted here over the years, I'm a terrible person. At 39"x20"x12" the box is gigantic, with shipping weight listed as 40lb, and I believe them after carrying it around the house. There's tons of cardboard inside and closed cell foam wedges to keep the panel and stand from moving, then a bag over the panel and a further sheet of reinforced bubble-wrap type stuff taped over the screen front as well. All the manuals, the driver CD, and various cables are in a smaller box inside the main box. Dell includes a power cord (standard 3 prong PSU cable, no external brick, easily replaced), high-speed HDMI cable, and a mini-DisplayPort to full size DisplayPort cable as well. This last choice is nice in that the monitor has two full size DisplayPorts and a single mini-DisplayPort, so no matter if your GPU or other source uses full size DP or mini-DP you have the cable you need. The box has pictogram unpacking instructions on the first flap you see when opening the main seal. These are easy to follow -- turn it so the monitor is face down, take out the stand, accessories/cables, and the cardboard dividers, then take the monitor out of the bag and click the stand in to place on its back with it still face down in the box. Materials and Build Quality: The stand is very sturdy and well made, with a fair bit of height and tilt adjustment. Its rubber feet are very grippy and avoid the monitor sliding around, and there's no visable wobble when typing quickly even on my fairly flimsy desk. I do wish the maximum adjustment was a little higher as it doesn't quite get to eye level with me, but this is more the fault of my desk and chair setup than the monitor itself. There's no portrait orientation option with the included stand, but as wide as a 34" 21:9 display is most wouldn't want to do that anyway -- you would end up with a sore neck very quickly. The stand is also easy to install on the display, requiring no tools -- it simply snaps in to place. A small spring-loaded button on the back of the display allows the stand to be detached easily if you want to use an aftermarket VESA mount (there are standard 100x100mm mount points) or for storage / re-boxing. As is the standard for Dell's UltraSharp line, the casing is no frills and very well made, all matte black plastic on the front and back of the panel, silver for the stand. The back of the display is curved to match the front and slightly convex, which I imagine would look nice if you had it on a desk in the middle of a room or office. There's a small plastic snap-on panel included to hide display connections that I didn't bother to install as my monitor is up against a wall, but this helps clean up the look of it in some cases. There's also a pass-through hole for cable management in the stand. The Dell logo in the center of the bottom logo is small and tasteful, made of shiny silver plastic. There are two down-firing speakers built in to the display as well as a 4 port USB 3.0 hub with two upstream connections allowing you to connect two systems to the same peripherals by way of the monitor -- convenient if you want to use it in PiP/PbP mode regularly. There are options in the OSD to assign different USB upstream connections to different display inputs, letting the display act as a sort of limited KVM. There is also an option to leave the USB ports powered when the display is off, letting them be used to charge your phone or run small USB accessories even when the display itself is not in use. I have yet to use the speakers or USB hub, but can test them on request. Inputs include 2 full size DisplayPort connections, one of which is used to daisy-chain multiple DP compatible panels if you go that route. There's also a mini DisplayPort, a HDMI 2.0 port, and a MHL port for connecting mobile devices. This means any of the inputs can support the display's full resolution at 60Hz, but depending on the connected device you may not be able to get above 1920x1080@60Hz (in the case of MHL devices that don't support MHL 3.0) or 3440x1440@50Hz (HDMI 1.4a sources). For this reason, you should be sure to use DisplayPort if your GPU supports it, but if you have a HDMI 2.0 capable GPU (at this point, Nvidia GTX 900 series and later) it doesn't matter if you use DP or HDMI. Factory Calibration: Also included in the box is a calibration report from the factory -- I can't overstate how awesome this is, and it's the first I've seen with any monitor I've owned. Dell guarantees an average Delta E (color accuracy) of less than 3 and takes readings at the factory of 8 points of gray, 4 red, 4 green, 4 blue, 4 yellow, 4 magenta and 4 cyan. On my unit most of these readings showed a Delta E of less than 1, and none were more than ~1.5. The gray scale tracking performance and gamma curve of the display after calibration are also included, as well as backlight uniformity readings at 21 points across the screen and Delta E color uniformity readings at 21 points relative to center. While I still strongly recommend buying a colorimeter if you do photo/video editing or other professional quality work on the display, having it extremely well calibrated from the factory saves a ton of time and potential frustration. I did a few quick tests with my own colorimeter and results were consistent with the factory readings across the board, so the U3415W really is ready to go out of the box. Setup, First Impressions, and Comparison to Planar PX2611w: Setup is pretty much effortless on any modern OS -- I never bothered with the driver CD, instead simply connecting the included mini-DP to DP cable between my primary Geforce GTX 980Ti and the display and booting up Windows 7 to see its native resolution set automatically. I've since upgraded to Windows 10 and had no issues there either. Default calibration is, as stated before, exceptional -- colors are true to life, not muted or overblown (think over-saturated OLED -- none of that here). After turning the brightness down to 50 from the default 75 I found there was really nothing else that needed adjusting -- a very different experience than I've had with other displays. It's worth noting that while less expensive displays often start flickering noticeably below 100% brightness, like most of the high end 34" 21:9 displays the U3415W does not use PWM to adjust its backlight brightness, but DC control. This means it is "flicker free" and will not bother those sensitive to PWM flicker at any brightness level. For comparison purposes I used my Planar PX2611w. This is a 1920x1200 16:10 CCFL-backlit wide gamut IPS display built in 2009 with 6ms GTG response time and less than 1 frame of input lag. It uses the same panel as the NEC LCD2960WUXi. I will readily admit to loving this display and have had a very difficult time finding a worthy replacement. I went through a few 24MP photos from my fiancee's Sony Alpha a5100 on the Dell and the Planar to compare color quality, and found the Dell a bit more rich but not overdone. This may be in part to the Planar's age (it is dimming a bit) but is none-the-less impressive. Blacks are a little deeper on the Dell, but IPS glow is more apparent on the sides due to its substantially greater width. Backing up takes care of the glow, but staying relatively close and letting the display fill the bulk of your field of view is where it really shines, so it's a worthwhile trade-off. Still, outside of a completely black screen where you find yourself looking for it, the glow isn't so intense as to be distracting. With the far better color accuracy of IPS when compared with other display technologies, even SVA, it's something I've been willing to deal with the few times it has proven a (minor) issue. I love deep, deep blacks, which has never been the biggest strength of IPS tech, but I hate gamma and color shift with a passion so I stick with it. Initially I was concerned the Dell might be a little more blurry than the Planar given its reported 8ms response time vs. the Planar's 6ms. This proved to be unfounded -- worst case they're neck and neck, best case the Dell is a bit faster, though not night-and-day under any circumstances. Coming from me, this is high praise -- again, I love the PX2611w, I would argue it is one of the best TFT displays ever made. In the case of the U3415W I suspect that Dell is being conservative with the response time numbers as usual, while other manufacturers stretch the truth a bit to appeal to the "lower ms is better" crowd. I was also somewhat worried about input lag -- the Planar, when I purchased it, had possibly the lowest input lag of any readily available IPS display on the market, at under one frame. Thankfully, the Dell matches or exceeds this, and does not feel any slower in practice. All in all, I've been very happy with the gaming and photo/video performance of this display. I realize it's not 144 or even 90Hz, but I'm not a pro gamer and it's plenty fast for me. Given how unimpressed I've been with TN panels even after all the advances they've made in recent years there are sacrifices I'm willing to make to get the image I want -- I'd much rather have games and films look great and play well than be washed out and color-shifted but "smoother." My distrust of TNs extends all the way up to the $600 Samsung U28D590D 28" 4K TN, which has all kinds of software tricks built in to try and avoid the shortfalls of TN technology. Despite this, the 590D was still a horrific washed out mess after my best attempts to calibrate it and lasted all of 3 days before being returned. If you must have 1ms response time, 144Hz, G-sync/FreeSync, etc, this display isn't for you. If you can accept a quality 60Hz panel with minimal blurring and want a really good image more than anything else, consider it. 21:9 for Movies and Games: Nothing said in this section is specific to the Dell, but is universally applicable to 21:9 displays, at least for now. Hopefully as they become more prevalent over the next year or two we will see increasingly good support across the board for the 21:9 aspect ratio. Watching films with a 21:9 monitor is a whole new experience -- the total lack of letter-boxing, the ability to use the entire panel, it oddly makes a bigger impression with a 34" 21:9 than a 40" 4K set in my experience, even if the resulting image is a bit smaller. There's something about having the film all the way out to the bezels that just feels right. That is, of course, when it works. If you're working with local content it's easy enough to use VLC Media Player or similar to force 21:9 or crop hard-coded black bars, but dealing with streaming content is trickier. There's a Chrome extension called UltraWide Video that handles this with an easy ctrl-alt-c shortcut to toggle cropping modes and avoid black bars on Netflix and Youtube content. Amazon is more hit and miss -- some of the streaming content is already properly encoded and fills the screen perfectly, while other films are actually boxed on all sides and just "float" in the middle of the display. This is really more the fault of the content providers, not properly taking the 21:9 aspect ratio in to account, but it's something to consider if you're planning to buy a 21:9 monitor to watch films. A big thing you should be aware of and ready to deal with if you choose this (or any other 21:9 display, for that matter) with gaming in mind is that a certain amount of mucking around with cfg and ini files will sometimes be necessary to get things working properly, particularly with older titles. Some will simply refuse to run at native resolution or aspect ratio -- in that case the OSD does allow unstretched 1:1 mapping and forcing 16:9 so you can play at 1920x1080 for example in the middle of the screen with black bars on the side for problem titles. While this is far from ideal, keep in mind that it's effectively the same size as a 27" 16:9 display. The four "stretch" options in the OSD are 21:9 forced, 16:9 forced, 1:1, and "Auto". The remainder of the OSD is straightforward and easy to navigate using the 4 context-aware touch-sensitive buttons on the bottom-right corner of the display. If you're curious about the OSD layout and other options, checking out Youtube is probably the best way to go, rather than trying to type everything out here. Suffice it to say it's not bad, not amazing. You'll rarely have to use it. There's also a dedicated power button. The power LED can be disabled while the screen is on if you find it distracting, but I find the fairly muted diffuse white light pleasant. Many newer titles have native 21:9 support, and many need tweaking. Some it's as simple as going in to the config files and manually tweaking the resolution or FOV. Others can be "fixed" with the third party application Flawless Widescreen. It's worth noting here that in my limited experience with Flawless Widescreen it's far from foolproof -- while the Dragon Age Inquisition plugin for it does get rid of the letter-boxing in cut scenes, it has also caused hard crashes and blue screens at times. The point here is, it's a great experience over all, but I acknowledge it isn't without flaws, and you should be prepared for that going in. It's kind of like SLI or Crossfire X -- does it give you a better gaming experience? 90% of the time, yeah. Maybe 75% if you're feeling pessimistic. Is it a pain in the ass sometimes? Sure. Do you deal with it anyway cause it's the best option available to you and you love gaming with everything cranked up to the max? Yeah. Let's be honest -- on top of that, some of us really enjoy tinkering with this stuff. Pros and Cons: Pros: - Excellent color accuracy out of the box, great factory calibration and detailed calibration report included in box - Good black levels for IPS display - Flicker-free (DC brightness control, no PWM) - Very solid build quality, including stand - 3 year warranty is best in class, most competitors offer 1 year - Large variety of input options (2 DP, 1 mDP, 1 HDMI, 1 MHL) Cons: - Fairly high price between $750 and $900 depending on vendor/sales/promo codes/etc - No DVI-D or VGA connection, unlike some competitors (AOC), means it will not work with older PCs - Reported 8ms GTG response time, while likely conservative, is much higher than competitors reporting 4-5ms - Some users / reviewers report backlight bleed in upper left and right corners / especially heavy IPS glow (did not see this in my unit) Pro or Con (Preference): - "Corporate" color and material choices, not flashy - No external power brick means easier setup with nothing to hide, but makes repair more complicated in case of PSU failure and casing thicker to accommodate internal PSU - Excellent packaging means giant, odd shaped box to store away in case of moving or sale in the future - Price is "middle of the pack" -- less than the LG curved 34" IPS 21:9 panel, more than Samsung curved 34" SVA 21:9, and more than the AOC & LG flat 34" IPS 21:9 panels Tips: (will update as I learn) - If watching ultra-widescreen original content in VLC you may need to set a 6 pixel top, 6 pixel bottom crop to have the film completely fill the display left to right. Yes, you're losing 12 lines of vertical resolution but I think it's worth it to avoid /any/ unused black area. - when working with 2 windows you can snap them to the left and right sides of the screen using Win+left arrow and Win+right arrow keys. That way you can have a browser and Word (for example) open and readable without having to manually resize them with the mouse. I suspect many people already know this shortcut, but it was new to me. - Mentioned above, but likely lost in a sea of text for many -- there's a Chrome extension called "UltraWide Video" that will let you crop full screen Youtube and Netflix streams with ctrl+alt+c to fill the whole screen with no black bars. I think something similar is also available for Firefox. It's worth noting that the extension is far from perfect/foolproof, but better than nothing in my experience. I welcome other U3415W owners to post their own impressions here, as well as anyone considering the display to ask questions. I'll be glad to respond.